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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Information for professional colleagues

Information for professional colleagues

This page contains additional information aimed primarily at fellow educators, multiagency partners, and other interested professionals.

Questions and Answers


Could you tell me more about what Educational psychologists do?

EPs work to deliver services within a Learning Community, which consists of early years, primary, secondary school and specialist provisions.

Our job has 5 core functions

  • Consultation
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Training
  • Research

Most often, our work starts with a consultation. A problem-solving meeting takes place, and solutions are identified by everyone involved in the discussion.

Our work can focus on an individual/ family, on a whole school or learning community, or at the level of authority-wide projects and concerns, for example, Clackmannanshire’s implementation of the Scottish Attainment Challenge. 

We are committed to both equality and equity.  Our aim is to make a difference for children and young people broadly, but also targeting our work where it is most needed.

Can anyone talk to an Educational Psychologist (EP)?

This section pertains to children and young people who are aged 0-24, and who are the responsibility of Clackmannanshire Council. 

This includes children/young people

  • whose parents and carers are Clackmannanshire residents.
  • attending Clackmannanshire schools, although if the pupil is a Looked After and Accommodated Child (LAAC) from another Local Authority, we would only be able to provide limited advice, because they would still be the responsibility of their Home Authority and EPS.
  • who are LAAC outwith Clackmannanshire, but are still the responsibility of our Local Authority, and have educational support needs.
  • who are placed by the Local Authority in specialist educational provisions outwith Clackmannanshire Council schools, even if they are not LAAC.

Education colleagues and other professionals can seek EP advice about individuals, families, schoolwide issues and other general concerns, for example development work in areas including research, training, strategic planning. A new query about a specific child/young person can only be raised with consent (and preferably, active involvement) from a parent/carer, or other person with parental rights and responsibilities, or in some cases from young persons themselves (see below).

Pupils aged 16+, and in some cases, aged 12-15, can seek to involve an Educational Psychologist on their own behalf without separate consent from their parents/carers.  However, we would always look for ways to include the parent/carer in working together to meet the young person's needs if possible, while still taking into account considerations about privacy and data.

Parents and carers have the right to seek advice from an EP about educational support needs for specific child/young person.  Under most circumstances, we would encourage this consultation to take place together with the school, and any other professionals who are currently involved in providing a service to the child (examples might include a health visitor, speech therapist, inclusion support teacher).  The other members of the Team Around the Child (TAC) can help to provide a fuller picture of the child/young person's support needs.

We are available to answer general queries from anyone regarding the services we provide. 

Telephone consultation service

We offer a twice weekly telephone consultation service that is especially encouraged for our educational establishments who do not receive regularly scheduled school visits from a link EP, as well as parents, carers, and other callers. 

We also offer dedicated time slots at other times each month for consultations with social workers, community learning and development colleagues, and health visitors.  Please feel free to contact the EPS to request more details.

If the call is regarding a child/young person who is already an existing case, parents and carers are encouraged to contact the allocated EP directly, and can leave a message for that EP at any point during business hours (same telephone numbers as above).

What should I do if I have an urgent concern about a child/young person's safety?

If you are concerned about a child/young person or family having an urgent, life-threatening crisis, please contact the appropriate Emergency Service straight away.  If you have a Child Protection concern, please follow your establishment’s procedures for reporting this.

If the child/young person is not in immediate danger, but you do have concerns about physical safety due to mental health (for example, significant self-harm or eating disordered behaviour), please support the family to seek help from their GP and/or the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).  The number for Forth Valley CAMHS – North (based in Stirling) is 01786 454546.

Can I contact the EPS using email?

We can be contacted by email at psychological@clacks.gov.uk.  If you choose to email the EPS, please be careful not to include any information within your email which could identify you or anyone else.  The email facility is for general enquiries only.

As an alternative, we encourage you to ask the child/young person's lead professional (usually, a key member of staff at school) to arrange a TAC meeting/consultation and invite the EP, or to contact us on our telephone consultation service using the details above.

Will the EP undertake direct work with the child/young person?

Much of our casework as EPs involves working for children and young people, through collaboration with the key adults who know the pupils best and see them often. 

We engage in consultation and assessment with parents, carers, educators, and other professionals. 

We can give recommendations and guidance about strategies that can address the children and young people’s support needs. However, in some cases, our assessment may indicate that a direct intervention between an EP and an individual pupil is appropriate.  This might include Readiness for Learning (R4L) approaches made possible by the Scottish Attainment Challenge, such as our Intensive Therapeutic Service. 

Please also see the Q&A below regarding principles of direct intervention with children/young people.

What parts of the EP’s job are required by law?

All EPs are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as “practitioner psychologists”, and further information about this qualification can be obtained on the HCPC website.

The maintenance of a Psychological Service has been a statutory duty of a Local Authority since 1969. The statutory functions of the Psychological Service are given in detail in the Education (Scotland) Act 1981 (as amended). They include the giving of advice about a child or young person's additional support needs to parents/carers, educational establishments and the local authority. 

Some kinds of queries are better directed to other professionals, for example, if a support need is mostly focused on a health problem, or an issue in the home.  However, an EP will usually be involved if there are key educational questions such as whether a pupil’s needs might be best accommodated in a specialist provision.

An EP will always be involved in the case of a pupil who attends education outwith the Local Authority provision, with support funded by Clackmannanshire. Examples include:

  • A pupil who is Looked After and Accommodated in another Local Authority, and who needs dedicated time from a Support for Learning Assistant, or other resources that are not provided by their host school as part of the standard support package.
  • A pupil placed by Clackmannanshire in a private/independent school, or a specialist provision under the auspices of a different Local Authority.

Like others working with children, the Psychological Service is also bound by the general principles of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. These principles underpin many aspects of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act (2009) and the associated Supporting Children's Learning, Code of Practice. Key points include:

  • EPs must not intervene directly with a child unless that is clearly in the child's best interests and any recommendations they make should be based solely on the best interests of the child.
  • The EP should consult the child before any such intervention and should discuss the results of any assessment with the child, insofar as he or she is able to understand the implications of what is being discussed.
  • The EP’s intervention should be as non-intrusive as possible; the rest of the TAC should, whenever possible, use the EP on a consultative basis.

In their work with schools, EPs should ensure that direct contact with a child/young person is only made when a process of staged intervention has shown it to be to the child/young person's advantage.

Where can I find more information about EPS projects, recommended books and resources etc?

@ClacksEPS has a lively Twitter feed that you can follow.

We also have a YouTube video feed.

Useful links

You can also refer to our useful links web page and service leaflets.

For Further Information Contact

Educational Psychology Service
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 226000 / 450000 Fax: 01259 226006
Email: